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Monty Python star suffering from severe form of dementia

Monty Python star Terry Jones has been diagnosed with a severe variant of dementia called primary progressive aphasia.

It affects his ability to communicate and so he is no longer able to give interviews. The National Aphasia Association describes the disease as a neurological syndrome in which language capabilities become impaired.

A spokesman said: "It commonly begins as a subtle disorder of language, progressing to a nearly total inability to speak, in its most severe stage.”

Mr Jones was part of the successful Monty Python comedy team in the 1960s and 70s and went on to direct their films, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. He has won numerous awards for his work.

Kathryn Smith, director of operations at the Alzheimer's Society, said: "We are deeply sorry to hear about Terry Jones's diagnosis of dementia and are thinking of Terry and his family during this time."

Research has shown that dementia is the illness people in their 50s and above fear the most because it brings loss of control. Apart from all the obvious trauma and heartache, there is the practical problem of who should manage your affairs if you are no longer able to do so yourself.

You may not be able to predict your future health but it is possible to put procedures in place so that people you trust will be able to help you if you do fall ill in the future.

The best way to do this is by setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). An LPA enables you to nominate someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you ever lose the ability to do so yourself through illnesses such as dementia.

The property and finance LPA allows you to appoint someone to look after your financial affairs and the personal welfare LPA lets you grant an attorney authority over such matters as health care and the kind of treatment you receive.

Please contact us if you would like more information about Lasting Powers of Attorney.